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Angiostrongylus cantonensis is a pathogenic nematode and the cause of neuroangiostrongyliasis, an eosinophilic meningitis more commonly known as rat lungworm disease. Transmission is thought to be primarily due to ingestion of infective third stage larvae (L3) in gastropods, on produce, or in contaminated water. The gold standard to determine the effects of physical and chemical treatments on the infectivity of A. cantonensis L3 larvae is to infect rodents with treated L3 larvae and monitor for infection, but animal studies are laborious and expensive and also raise ethical concerns. This study demonstrates propidium iodide (PI) to be a reliable marker of parasite death and loss of infective potential without adversely affecting the development and future reproduction of live A. cantonensis larvae. PI staining allows evaluation of the efficacy of test substances in vitro, an improvement upon the use of lack of motility as an indicator of death. Some potential applications of this assay include determining the effectiveness of various anthelmintics, vegetable washes, electromagnetic radiation and other treatments intended to kill larvae in the prevention and treatment of neuroangiostrongyliasis.
Since the introduction of laser-assisted atom probe, analysis of nonconductive materials by atom probe tomography (APT) has become more routine. To obtain high-quality data, a number of acquisition variables needs to be optimized for the material of interest, and for the specific question being addressed. Here, the rutile (TiO2) reference material ‘Windmill Hill Quartzite,’ used for secondary ion mass spectrometry U–Pb dating and laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, was analyzed by laser-assisted APT to constrain optimal running conditions. Changes in acquisition parameters such as laser energy and detection rate are evaluated in terms of their effect on background noise, ionization state, hit-multiplicity, and thermal tails. Higher laser energy results in the formation of more complex molecular ions and affects the ionization charge state. At lower energies, background noise and hit-multiplicity increase, but thermal tails shorten. There are also correlations between the acquisition voltage and several of these metrics, which remain to be fully understood. The results observed when varying the acquisition parameters will be discussed in detail in the context of utilizing APT analysis of rutile within geology.
Real world evidence (RWE) is changing the overall data landscape and it has potential to advance the evaluation of real world performance (comparative effectiveness) of healthcare technologies by providing a greater quantity and quality of evidence. However, many are concerned that non-randomized RWE may be substituted for RCT data and thus increase uncertainty about effectiveness. This presentation sets out the opportunities and challenges for use of RWE by payers and HTA bodies to evaluate health care technologies.
Current uses, opportunities and challenges were identified via a literature review and interviews with nine experts. Interim results were discussed at the 2017 ICER Policy Summit, which brought together leaders from payer and life sciences organizations, to develop specific and actionable recommendations for the use of RWE in drug coverage and policy decision-making.
RWE is utilized for multiple purposes in the US and globally, including: aiding design of drug development pathways; supporting regulatory approval decisions; monitoring safety; and informing HTA assessments and payer coverage decisions. Some stakeholders see great value in RWE and want to make greater use of these data sources, including for: drug effectiveness evaluations (including supplementing network meta-analyses); innovative study designs (including pragmatic trials); real time patient monitoring; and adaptive pathways or coverage with evidence development. However, others see numerous challenges, many of which are related to the quality and reliability of RWE sources. Acceptance of an expanded future role for RWE is not universal, and payers and developers must work together to find mutually beneficial strategies for progressing the development and use of RWE.
Specific and actionable recommendations will be presented which highlight the role that each stakeholder group can play in overcoming the challenges and realizing the potential for RWE.
New excavations at the Jebel Moya cemetery in Sudan reveal extensive evidence for Meroitic-era occupation, providing valuable data on contemporaneous diet, migration, exchange and population composition in sub-Saharan Africa.
We present Phantom, a fast, parallel, modular, and low-memory smoothed particle hydrodynamics and magnetohydrodynamics code developed over the last decade for astrophysical applications in three dimensions. The code has been developed with a focus on stellar, galactic, planetary, and high energy astrophysics, and has already been used widely for studies of accretion discs and turbulence, from the birth of planets to how black holes accrete. Here we describe and test the core algorithms as well as modules for magnetohydrodynamics, self-gravity, sink particles, dust–gas mixtures, H2 chemistry, physical viscosity, external forces including numerous galactic potentials, Lense–Thirring precession, Poynting–Robertson drag, and stochastic turbulent driving. Phantom is hereby made publicly available.
Nanoenergetic composites are of overwhelming interest to the Department of Defense because of the higher power output and the ability to finely tune the ignition thresholds of these composites. Recently, several variants of a nanoaluminum-poly(perfluorinated methacrylate) (AlFA) have been synthesized and optimized for a variety of applications including reactive warhead liners and bullet spotters. While conventional techniques such as thermal analysis and bomb calorimetry can be used to characterize the reaction mechanism and energy output of AlFA composites, characterizing their dynamic behaviour is more challenging. Bullet spotter applications require a material to be impact sensitive at very low velocities, yet be adequately insensitive. Several live-fire tests were conducted which revealed the AlFA50 material reacted consistently upon target impact at high velocities, but unreliably at very low velocities. In an effort to better understand the fundamental impact ignition mechanism and to determine the impact velocity threshold of AlFA50 a series of Taylor gas gun experiments were conducted. It was determined that the light-initiation mechanism was consistent with a pinch mechanism, and that the ignition velocity threshold was near 74 m/s. Based on these results, it was hypothesized that the addition of a filler material could be used to sensitize the AlFA50, and that Asay shear impact testing could be used to determine a more optimal shape of such inclusions. Experiments performed using the Asay shear impact test setup confirmed the pinch ignition mechanism, but observations also revealed that the size of the pinch point was important. Finally, it was shown that the addition of large glass beads (> 1mm in diameter) was effective at sensitizing the AlFA50 material at high and low velocities, with ignition observed at impact velocities as low as 35 m/s.
We present the results of an approximately 6 100 deg2 104–196 MHz radio sky survey performed with the Murchison Widefield Array during instrument commissioning between 2012 September and 2012 December: the MWACS. The data were taken as meridian drift scans with two different 32-antenna sub-arrays that were available during the commissioning period. The survey covers approximately 20.5 h < RA < 8.5 h, − 58° < Dec < −14°over three frequency bands centred on 119, 150 and 180 MHz, with image resolutions of 6–3 arcmin. The catalogue has 3 arcmin angular resolution and a typical noise level of 40 mJy beam− 1, with reduced sensitivity near the field boundaries and bright sources. We describe the data reduction strategy, based upon mosaicked snapshots, flux density calibration, and source-finding method. We present a catalogue of flux density and spectral index measurements for 14 110 sources, extracted from the mosaic, 1 247 of which are sub-components of complexes of sources.
Unemployment can negatively impact quality of life among patients with schizophrenia. Employment status depends on ability, opportunity, education, and cultural influences. A clinician-rated scale of work readiness, independent of current work status, can be a valuable assessment tool. A series of studies were conducted to create and validate a Work Readiness Questionnaire (WoRQ) for clinicians to assess patient ability to engage in socially useful activity, independent of work availability.
Content validity, test–retest and inter-rater reliability, and construct validity were evaluated in three separate studies.
Content validity was supported. Cronbach’s α was 0.91, in the excellent range. Clinicians endorsed WoRQ concepts, including treatment adherence, physical appearance, social competence, and symptom control. The final readiness decision showed good test–retest reliability and moderate inter-rater reliability. Work readiness was associated with higher function and lower levels of negative symptoms. Low positive and high negative predictive values confirmed the concept validity.
The WoRQ has suitable psychometric properties for use in a clinical trial for patients with a broad range of symptom severity. The scale may be applicable to assess therapeutic interventions. It is not intended to assess eligibility for supported work interventions.
The WoRQ is suitable for use in schizophrenia clinical trials to assess patient work functional potential.
Dietary pattern (DP) analysis allows examination of the combined effects of nutrients and foods on the markers of CVD. Very few studies have examined these relationships during adolescence or young adulthood. Traditional CVD risk biomarkers were analysed in 12–15-year-olds (n 487; Young Hearts (YH)1) and again in the same individuals at 20–25 years of age (n 487; YH3). Based on 7 d diet histories, in the present study, DP analysis was performed using a posteriori principal component analysis for the YH3 cohort and the a priori Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) was calculated for both YH1 and YH3 cohorts. In the a posteriori DP analysis, YH3 participants adhering most closely to the ‘healthy’ DP were found to have lower pulse wave velocity (PWV) and homocysteine concentrations, the ‘sweet tooth’ DP were found to have increased LDL concentrations, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure and decreased HDL concentrations, the ‘drinker/social’ DP were found to have lower LDL and homocysteine concentrations, but exhibited a trend towards a higher TAG concentration, and finally the ‘Western’ DP were found to have elevated homocysteine and HDL concentrations. In the a priori dietary score analysis, YH3 participants adhering most closely to the Mediterranean diet were found to exhibit a trend towards a lower PWV. MDS did not track between YH1 and YH3, and nor was there a longitudinal relationship between the change in the MDS and the change in CVD risk biomarkers. In conclusion, cross-sectional analysis revealed that some associations between DP and CVD risk biomarkers were already evident in the young adult population, namely the association between the healthy DP (and the MDS) and PWV; however, no longitudinal associations were observed between these relatively short time periods.
A four site-year study was conducted in North Carolina to evaluate the effects of soybean planting timing and row spacing on soil moisture, weed density, soybean lodging, and yield in a cover crop-based no-till organic soybean production system. Soybean planting timing included roll-kill/planting and roll-kill/delayed planting where soybean planting occurred either on the same day or approximately 2 wk later, respectively. Soybean row spacing included 19, 38, and 76 cm, and all treatments included a weedy check and weed-free treatment. Rye biomass production averaged above 10,000 kg ha−1 dry matter, which resulted in good weed control across all sites. Despite having good weed control throughout all treatments, weed coverage was highest in the 76-cm row-space treatment when compared to both the 19-cm and 38-cm row spacing in two of the four site-years. Soybean lodging is a potential consequence of no-till planting of soybeans in high residue mulches, and of the three row spacings, the 19-cm spacing exhibited the greatest incidence of lodging. Row spacing also influenced soybean yield; the 19- and 38-cm row spacing out yielded the 76-cm spacing by 10%. Soil volumetric water content (VWC) was higher in the cereal rye mulch treatments compared to the no rye checks. Furthermore, delaying soybean planting lowered soil water evaporation. However, the increased soil VWC in the rolled-rye treatment did not translate into increased soybean yield. The rolled-rye treatment exhibited significant (P < 0.01) increases in soil VWC when compared to the no-rye treatment at three of the four site-years. These results highlight planting date flexibility and potential risk to lodging that producers face when no-till planting organic soybeans.
Developer-funded archaeology on the Isle of Sheppey resulted in the discovery of not one but two Neolithic causewayed enclosures on the same hilltop in very close (c. 300 m) proximity. In the later Bronze Age enclosures and cremation cemeteries were constructed immediately to the east, followed by Iron Age enclosures and, ultimately, field systems dating to the later Iron Age onwards.
A radiocarbon programme enabled the chronological sequence and hiatus between all of these events to be discerned, but the majority of this paper explores the physical, chronological, and social relationship between the two Neolithic causewayed enclosures. These were of different forms and, although on the same hilltop, they each seem to have had distinctly different viewsheds over the Thames and the Swale respectively. There are subtle, but potentially significant, differences in the material culture and deposition which allow exploration of the possible functions and role(s) of the two largely contemporaneous sites. Questions may be addressed such as whether they performed the same functions for two communities or had separate and distinct roles for a single community. Beyond the Neolithic, the paper also explores the nature of the later use of the hilltop. The Bronze Age enclosures, though agricultural in function, clearly seem to respect their Neolithic predecessors invoking a remembrance of space, which is lost by the Iron Age. The shift away from the special function of this landscape in the Neolithic to a subsequent agricultural use is explored, as is the hiatus in use and subsequent re-use of the area.
We describe observations with the Mopra radiotelescope designed to assess the feasibility of the H2O Maser Southern Galactic Plane Survey. We mapped two one-square-degree regions along the Galactic plane using the new 12-mm receiver and the UNSW Mopra spectrometer. We covered the entire spectrum between 19.5 and 27.5 GHz using this setup with the main aim of finding out which spectral lines can be detected with a quick mapping survey. We report on detected emission from H2O masers, NH3 inversion transitions (1,1), (2,2) and (3,3), HC3N (3–2), as well as several radio recombination lines.